Amalaya translates as ‘hope for a miracle’ in the indigenous language of the now extinct tribe, the Calchaquí. The winery is situated in Cafayate, Calchaquí Valley in Salta in the far north of Argentina at nearly 1,828 metres above sea level. It is a part of the Hess Family Estates and is run with the same dedication to quality, sustainability and social responsibility as the other Hess Estates. All of the Amalaya wines are fruit driven in style, with a finesse that unites them. These wines offer incredible value for their quality and truly reflect their ‘sense of place‘.
The fruit for this single vineyard flagship wine comes from the San Isidoro vineyard located in the Cafayate Valley in the very heart of the Calchaqui Valley. At 1,800 metres above sea level, it is one of the highest wine regions in the world. The climate here is very dry, with just 150 millimetres of rain in an average year and a huge diurnal temperature range of around 20°C. The soils are rocky, poor and sandy so the roots of the vines are forced to dig deep to find the vital nutrients and water they need, which in turn results in a huge concentration of flavour within the fruit.
The Calchaquí Valley enjoyed excellent conditions in 2017. There was no threat of disease or frost during the growing season. During late spring and summer the area received sufficient levels of rainfall with good levels of sunshine without any extreme temperatures. This allowed the fruit to ripen steadily and evenly.
After hand harvesting and careful sorting by hand at the winery, the grapes were barrel-fermented in new French oak for 60 days. Malolactic fermentation took place and once completed, the wine was then aged in French oak for a period of 12 months.
This wine is deep and intense in colour, with aromas of black fruit, ripe plum and chocolate with floral undertones. Well-balanced, the palate is complex and full-bodied with fine-grained tannins.